Flimmit, an Austrian online movie service, which initially started off as a “Voddler for the GSA region” recently relaunched their entire product. The company now offers an extensiv library of US and European movies, with the availability to stream or download them.
When Flimmit launched more than a year ago, it had contracted with various local film distributors to license their content for VOD or streaming purposes. With an initial stock of around 30 movies, from more well-known to absolut indie productions, there plan was to grow from their and establish collaborations with producers and ultimately with pan-european distributors to act as an online distribution arm for them.
Now, having imported movie data and having an SEO focus, there core value seems to be a simple film search, rather than an online movie store. This sudden strategic change nicely depicts a major problem for services such as Flimmit or Voddler: Getting content and going to market with it.
Without having a major studio (which hardly exist in Europe, compared to the US) or larger production companies such as Constantin Film in Germany or Dor Film in Austria, on board, it’s hard to gain access to high-quality content. This is also a legal issue, since film rights are often widely spread among producers, distributors and sometimes individuals such as writers or directors.
Although it has recently gotten qiet around Voddler, they’ve managed to partner with Paramount and Disney in terms of movie content. Such partners Flimmit has yet to connect with in order to provide quality movie content for a web based application. Aside from these facts, it’s a long road for a startup to become a respected source of watching and downloading movies – legally. With iTunes already moving into this area, well-backed competiors such as Hulu and a plethora of diverse set-top-box systems that enable you watching content from the Web on your TV, this area is heavily in progress and change, and valid business models have also yet to be found.